The internetization of public diplomacy of the USA
Material posted: Publication date: 07-01-2013

At the beginning of the twenty-first century economic globalization, previously limited protectionism seems invincible.

Fulfilling its historic role of global capitalism, for which the state is an echo of the feudal era, and citizens – consumers and labour force, generates its interdependence, transnational culture and reality, involving the modern Nations into a unified planetary project.

From a historical point of view, we are on the verge of creating a new person with simplistic tastes and traditions, free from the archetypes of centuries past, his heredity; his patriotism, based on collectivism and the instinct of territoriality becomes a part of history, just as the feats of chivalry, embodied in the novels of the middle Ages, underwent obstruction in the era of modern times.

If these lines were written at least a hundred years ago, their author would call a dreamer. But today hardly anyone would doubt the veracity of such claims. The reality is that the national economy is inevitably embedded in a uniform economic complex, where post-industrial countries resemble investment banks, which invest in different factories, all of which we politely called "developing" countries. The same link connects all participants in this process information is foreign policy, public diplomacy, if you will.

United States to lead in this century the race for global political leadership, pinning all hopes on the allure of its urban culture, European cultural studies, often with disdain, mixed with annoyance, called "mass". It is true that American mass culture built on the principles of audiovisual perception, easily consumed abroad. Without going into the nature of popular culture, except to say that it, like any information, actively influences the two human instincts: 1. the instinct of self-preservation; 2. the instinct of territoriality.

The first instinct a few muted melodies of American music, the roar of a powerful car and the rustle of newly printed dollar bills; all of which are constantly broadcast over the American broadcasting channels and the Internet. At times, this picture is complicated by ardent fundamentalists and nationalists denounce "corrupting Western influence", but that's a topic for another article.

As for the instinct of territoriality, it also is overcome, still on the pages of social networks: emails from different continents reach their destinations in a matter of seconds, causing the entire continent to live in a common rhythm. In the old days about such synchronization could not even dream of mistress of the seas – the British Empire, pushed his influence (at the International Meridian conference of 1884) the other great powers to take the Greenwich Meridian for zero-point reference longitude on the globe.

All these innovations relate primarily to the peoples of America, Europe and Japan; they are the beneficiaries of the supranational culture, which standardizes some, and in others, causes a fierce hatred.

The leveling of national peculiarities is accompanied by the Erasure of national borders, undermining the barriers between foreign and domestic policy. Changes occur at all levels, affecting primarily international information policy. In the hands of the White house it is not just a channel for broadcasting the neoliberal dogma, but a tool of influence in strategic communication space of their allies and opponents.

For comparison: if in the XVIII, XIX and XX centuries, interstate struggles were limited to natural landscapes – the sea, land and airspace, in the twenty-first century technological progress involves the government in a large-scale battle for the noosphere, the will and minds of the civilian population. Sole position of the White house in satellite communications, along with rapid expansion of Internet audience and increase people's access to secondary and higher education, dictates new realities of behavior for all countries participating in the international concert.

According to the Ministry of defense of the USA, only from 2000 to 2010, the Internet audience on the planet has increased from 360 million to 2 billion people[1], thus turning the global web in a key channel to broadcast foreign information. This favors rapid growth as global GDP, and assets of the shadow banking system. If in 2000 the official GDP of the planet was barely over 41 trillion. $ in 2011 - amounted to little more than 69 trillion. $ .; the amount of the assets of the shadow banking system during the same time period increased to 26 trillion. to 67 trillion. $ .[2] And this is not the limit.

Marked levels were generally stepping up the digitalization process of translating all kinds of information (textual, audiovisual) in a digital form. The U.S. military did not waste time, noting the report of the office for the defence strategy for operations in cyberspace the following changes: the Internet, the so-called "cyberspace" enables American and international businesses to Transact and move assets in a matter of seconds, making the Internet the key factor in the global economy, cyberspace is becoming an incubator for new forms of entrepreneurship, it demonstrates and disseminates the achievements of the USA in the field of new technologies and social networks, "managing a modern economy", "reflect American principles." The ruling elite admits: "the energy, financial, transport and military-industrial sphere, transport and communication infrastructure – all this is managed through cyberspace" [3].

The white house found itself in a paradoxical situation. On the one hand, social networks like "Wikileaks", "Facebook" and "Twitter" allow remote to organize unrest and coups in those countries where the United States pursues its strategic interests and national territory of the USA itself is under the gun of potential geopolitical rivals, who no longer have to cross oceans to strike. Nothing you can do. This is the formula of power: the weakness of the subject always lies in his power. And understand it all. America's reliance on technology and dependence of technology from the United States itself only reinforces the task of "further investment in advanced research to create innovations and discoveries" designated by the Obama Administration in the national security Strategy of the United States from 2010[4]

The information revolution driven by the Internet, is forcing US officials to revise a basic understanding of propaganda, adopted after the Second world war. At the legislative level, it is about the revision of the key provisions of the Law on information and educational exchange (also known as the law of the Smith-Mundt - Smith–Mundt Act), which entered into force on 27 January 1948 at the suggestion of U.S. President Harry Truman. In addition to providing the State Department with broad powers in conducting information campaigns abroad, this law prohibited the "Voice of America" broadcast material intended for foreign audiences, in the U.S., thereby protecting citizens from disinformation campaigns by the government.

The makers of this law did not even know what controversy it will cause with the onset of the undivided rule of the Internet.

A broad discussion was launched on 13 July 2010, two members of the house of representatives Thornberry and M. A. Smith, submitted to the public amendment to the above law (Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2010*). Onzabili that in the Internet age, the current rules "tie the hands of U.S. diplomats and military, limiting their communicative abilities." Supporters of the bill claim: "used abroad information materials too good to refuse its use within the country, and that to combat "al-Qaeda", the promotion which comes to Americans via the Internet, we need new techniques and methods"[5].

Rejected in 2010, the draft law was submitted for reconsideration to Congress in may 2012, gestoci confrontation of supporters and opponents of Thornberry and Smith. From a tactical point of view, this fight illustrates the conventional dividing line between the first part of the American elite that support Barack Obama and second part, which tries to minimize its impact on the internal political field. It is obvious that the bill (upon its adoption) will strengthen support for foreign policy initiatives of the current Administration in the country, gnawing away scandalous reports from foreign theaters of combat operations, where the us military is not represented in a favourable light. Materials "Wikileaks is" a clear example of this.

[1] Department of Defense Strategy For Operating In Cyberspace, July 2011 //

[2] Shadow banking system – almost 100% of the GDP of the world //

[3] Department of Defense Strategy For Operating In Cyberspace, July 2011 //

[4] National Security Strategy, May 2010 //

* H. R. 5736: Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012.

[5] Congressmen seek update on propaganda law //

Tags: assessment , USA